Opinion polls show that contributions to judicial candidates create an appearance of corruption. This perception damages the institutional legitimacy of the courts. This chapter explores the relationship between integrity ratings of Illinois trial judges and campaign contributions. Specifically, it examines the Illinois State Bar Association judicial poll integrity scores of 253 elected judges seated in 101 Illinois counties during 1994–2012. Regression analysis reveals that judicial candidates’ integrity scores declined as (a) the amount of attorney contributions increased; (b) the number of reported attorney contributors enlarged; and (c) the number of large attorney contributors grew. This chapter also discusses the efficacy and limitations of four policies meant to diminish the appearance of corruption: recusal and disqualification rules; anonymous contributions; public financing; and the elimination of the election of judges. Although a radical solution, the policy of abolishing judicial elections is more likely to overcome the appearance of corruption than the other reforms.
McClure, T.E. (2017), "Do Contributions to Judicial Campaigns Create the Appearance of Corruption?", Corruption, Accountability and Discretion (Public Policy and Governance, Vol. 29), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 85-105. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2053-769720170000029005Download as .RIS
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